Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryu / PEGGY
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Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryu / PEGGY

Fortunately for the Allies in the latter stages of the Pacific war, comparatively few of the formidable Mitsubishi Ki- 67 Hiryu (flying dragon) medium bombers and torpedo-bombers, codenamed 'Peggy' by air intelligence, were encountered in action. Production was limited and got off to a late start in the war, and by the time of its service debut in 1944 the Ki-67's potency was negated both by Allied fighter superiority and by the poor quality of the JAAF and JNAF crews which operated it. To take the place of the Mitsubishi Ki-21 'Sally' and the Nakajima Ki-49 'Helen', the Air Office (Koku Hombu) issued specifications for a new bomber to the Mitsubishi concern in November 1940. The work was led by Chief Engineer Ozawa on an aircraft based on the beautiful Japanese lines and powered by the new generation of powerful Ha-100 double-row 18- cylinder radial engines. Three prototypes of the Ki-67-I were completed between December 1942 and March 1943, the first making its initial flight on 27 December 1942. The Ki-67-I proved to be fast (though not as fast as originally specified), and extremely manoeuvrable with loops and barrel-rolls being carried out with ease in an unloaded configuration. Although adopted for service as the Army Type 4 Heavy Bomber, such was the promise of the Ki-67-I that even the Imperial Japanese Navy was impressed, and made early representations to Mitsubishi. On 5 January 1943 Mitsubishi received an order to convert 100 Ki-49s as torpedo-bombers, with internal racks capable of handling the standard 450mm Navy Type 91 Model II aerial torpedo: these saw service with the 762nd Kokutai (air group) from the autumn of 1944 onwards. The Ki-67- I was issued in small numbers to the veteran 7th, 14th, 16th, 61st, 62nd, 74th, 98th and 110th Hikosentais (air regiments) and saw limited action over China, Biak and Sansapor in north western New Guinea, and Sumatra in the summer of 1944. The type was recognized as such for the first time by the Allies in October 1944, during the US 3rd Fleet's attacks on Formosa and the Ryukyus where the Hiryu served in the 8th Hikoshidan (air division) based on Formosa under navy control. Thereafter Ki-67-Is were encountered over the Philippines, off Iwo Jima, in the strikes on the US 20th Air Force's bases on Saipan and Tinian, and in the Okinawa campaign where it was used as a suicide aircraft. For suicide missions the JAAF used modified Peggys known as the Ki-61-I KAI with armament removed and a solid nose packed with explosive. Only two of the more powerful Ki-67-II variant were made, production of army and navy Ki-67-Is amounting to 696. It was the best Japanese medium bomber of World War II.

Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryu / PEGGY

 ENGINE2 x Army Type 4, 1425kW
    Take-off weight13765 kg30347 lb
    Empty weight8649 kg19068 lb
    Wingspan22.5 m74 ft 10 in
    Length18.7 m61 ft 4 in
    Height7.7 m25 ft 3 in
    Wing area65.85 m2708.80 sq ft
    Max. speed537 km/h334 mph
    Cruise speed400 km/h249 mph
    Ceiling9470 m31050 ft
    Range w/max.fuel3800 km2361 miles
    Range w/max.payload2800 km1740 miles
 ARMAMENT1 x 20mm cannon, 4 x 12.7mm machine-guns, 500-800kg of bombs

Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryu / PEGGYA three-view drawing (752 x 1028)

Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryu / PEGGY

Hiroyuki Takeuchi, 25.02.2016

Well written article, but slight correction. The Kamikaze version (To-Go Ki and Sakuradan Ki) did not have " a solid nose packed with explosive" . From the view point of center of gravity this is obvious. The To-Go Ki had 2 800KG bombs in the fuselage and a long detonating fuse stuck ut of the nose. The Sakuradan Ki had a gigantic "Sakuradan" , which emitted explosive gas in the forward direction (same principle as modern day HEAT shell) in mid fuselage.

Hal, 10.10.2014

On my last visit to the SWAP (July 2013), I found a relatively intact Ki-67 . Have photos of it.

Mike, 26.03.2013

About the KI-49. When I say 1 hit wonders I didn't mean she was soft, in fact the KI-49 was also with armor and was designed by the same man who designed the KI-44 Shoki, Dr. Takeo Doi. The problem with the KI-49 was her engines, she didn't have enough power and as a result traveled about 249-259 mph, depending on bomb load. What is worthwhile to note however is that the KI-49 was the first Japanese bomber to have a tail turret.......but better than the KI-67, now way!!!!!

Mike, 26.03.2013

With out a doubt the Mitsubishi KI-67 was the best japanese bomber of the war. Where as the Mitsubishi G4M3 Bomber (Betty) has the most recognition as being the Japanese Bomber of the may of been more numerical, but never better. The KI-67 was designed with the idea of crew safety and it incorporated self sealing fuel tanks right from the start and much better crew armor. She really by size and weight is a medium bomber and not a heavy bomber, oh well! The KI-67 took a long time to come into mased production cause the Koku Hombu (Air Ministry) wanted a bomber, then a tyorpedo plane, then a fighter of different calibers instead of just going forth with the bomber proposal all aslong. With all the delay the KI-67 came into service in time for the Battle of the Phillipinese in 1944 and suffered tremendous losses at tyhew hands of the american fliers. It would of been better for the Japanese to have bought the KI-67 out before the KI-49 Donryu cause all in all the KI-67 was a superior plane from any angle. Where as the Ki-49 was considered slow, and under powered it was also typical of Japanese planes....also known as 1 hit wonders!

Barry, 06.06.2012

There is no doubt that this was an extremely well designed and capable aeroplane, and that was the problem. The Japanese High Command wanted it to be developed into all sorts of models. Not just the torpedo bomber mentioned above but other considerations included: night fighter, ground attack, and escort fighter. Rather than getting on with the job in hand these vacillations resulted in a delayed entry of the Hiryu into it's original role of heavy bomber. Mind you by allied standards this was not exactly what they would call a heavy bomber. Suffice to say like so many military organisations when the top brass start interfering things can go astray.

Andiez31, 27.08.2011

From Wikipedia(Japanese), Imperial Japanese Army ordered 100 Ki-67s with torpedo equipment at Jan/1944.
After that, all Ki-67 can use torpedo (No.161-last)
To be honest my English skill is very poor, but I hope my comment will help you.

K, 12.02.2011

On 5 January 1943 Mitsubishi received an order to convert 100 Ki-49s as torpedo-bombers - does it mean Ki-67s?

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